In April and May 2010 NexusHeritage undertook a community archaeology project at Hinkshay for Telford and Wrekin Council.
Three rows of terraced housing were built at Hinkshay in the 1820s by the ironmasters William and Thomas Botfield. The Botfields has one of the largest ironworks in the country; the Hinkshay settlement was built to house workers in the new Stirchley ironworks. Although the ironworks had closed by the 1880s the ironworks lived on: its inhabitants found new jobs in the brickworks and chemical works.
The creation of Telford New Town from the 1960s saw widespread changes to the landscape and settlements of the area. Hinkshay was demolished in c.1970 as 'slum' clearance, but was never built on. Instead the old village became part of TelfordTownPark.
Our excavation project was funded by the Parks for People project. We worked closely with several local groups including the Wrekin Historical Group and the Dawley History Society, as well as Telford and Wrekin Council and the Friends of Telford Town Park.
The excavation revealed the remains of three of the terraced houses and a 'brewhouse' (wash house) that would have been used by the community. We recovered a range of artefacts from different periods which showed the alteration and development of the houses from the 1820s to the 1960s.
The Hinkshay project offered an opportunity for people of all ages to get involved in archaeology. As well as five days of excavation, we also ran a post-excavation workshop. Over 80 people participated in the project.
Several former residents of Hinkshay came and visited the excavations. For most, it was the first time that they had met in over forty years. Their memories and stories briefly brought Hinkshay back to life again. The project generated much local interest and enthusiasm, and has brought together a wide range of different communities. Further similar projects are planned or underway - see our Stirchley page.
Some more information about the Hinkshay excavation can be found by clicking on this link∞.
Go back to the NexusHeritage community archaeology page, or visit our website∞.
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